Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Favorite Things About the Season

I love the old decorations on the tree because they remind me of years gone by. Old memories of when I was younger and Christmas was a super big deal as a child, but today when I go looking at the old ornaments with their old memories it is more joyful now the older I get because of what Christmas really means with Jesus as the center. To me it is all about making new memories for my children so that when they get older they will remember those times. I love having family and loved one close at hand and being able to show my affection a little extra during Christmas time.
Danyelle 38,
Pearl, MS.

Jesus Christ
Connie, 54


I LOVE the Christmas music- singing alllllll the Christmas songs as loud as I want in my car!!! And also hanging out with all the family- laughing and eating all the yummy goodies, of course!!!
Adria, 27
Pearl, Mississippi

I love spending time with my family
Stacy,27
Brandon MS

The thing I love most about THIS Christmas, is that God spoke with me. He spoke to me and through me in a very humbling yet awe-inspiring and powerful way. He showed me a miracle and brought me to my knees. God is good! : )
Amy, 36
Newbern, TN

Listening to 100+ children in my daycare center sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!
Christie, 37
Pearl Ms

Being with my family
Elaine, 59

I love the Christmas season because this is the one time of year (aside from Easter) that most everyone is open to the suggestion of Christ. They aren’t too busy to hear about Jesus and the promise of Salvation. I think that it is easier to “witness” at Christmas because people are enamored by the BABY Jesus.
Kris, 37
Pearl Ms

My Favorite thing about Christmas is the Christmas Cantatas.
JoBeth, 29
Brandon, MS


My favorite thing about Christmas is that it's everywhere! You can't get away from it! I love that almost everyone I know is celebrating the same thing and enjoying the same songs, decorations, movies, food and hustle and bustle, but that everyone still has their own way of celebrating and own traditions. Even people who are too cool or cynical or jaded to get into other festive occasions still seem to enjoy the BIG ONE. I love that it's all-encompassing this time of year, and I guess that's the way it should be.
Lindsay Anne
Columbia SC

I love the food, the lights the food, the music, the food, getting together with family and friends…and the food!
Jessica, 14
Weston, Canada

The best thing about Christmas is to witness God is alive and we celebrate his birth to save us all.

Wes, 39
Nashville, TN


I love the HOPE that is encompassed in Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior…and the celebration of all sorts of things God has blessed us with…family, friends, etc. Were it not for the promise of Salvation, there would be no hope. God delivered that promise in the baby Jesus.
Jen, 28
Piedmont, Ca

The best thing about Christmas is seeing family that we have not seen since last year!
Merry Christmas!
William, Elizabeth, Douglas and Baby (due April 18)
Memphis Tn

Presents
Christie, 19

People are more giving, more patient, more considerate, more compassionate, more generous at Christmas!
Tashia, 40
Lake, Mississippi

Christmas is the beginning of the story that ends Easter Sunday.
Traci, 34
Murfreesboro, TN

Friday, December 18, 2009

Disappointment

As I sat at my desk in the daycare center that I run, a teacher brought a child into my office, and she was crying her head off. This little girl is 10 years old and new to the center. As she and I talked, she began telling me all about how the kids were picking on her. They were being ugly, rude and plain out mean. Knowing that I had to reprimand the kid or kids that were doing this, I asked her who it was – Wow! It was one of my very own children.

There are no words to tell you how broken hearted I was. It was like the life was sucked out of me. This is my own child. The one who knows Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. The one I have instilled all my morals and values into. How? Why? What was she thinking? What have I done wrong? Oh my gosh, I am soooo disappointed! I truly cannot breathe.

Wow! Is this how God feels when I tell “a little white lie?” What about when I gossip? What about when I yell at my kids? What about when I doubt God? What about when I put myself above Him? What about when I don’t have a daily talk with Him?

God has given me so much in my life, and I know that I DO NOT always stop and take the time to thank Him. How could I ever allow myself to let Him feel one ounce of the disappointment I have felt this week?

My prayer for everyone is that we remember that God loves us more than we can fathom. He has given us a life more abundant than we deserve. We all need to remember that as God forgives all of our shortcomings, He yearns for us to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

Love in Christ,

Christie

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chocolate Cookie Bark

What You Need:

2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 pkg. (6 squares) BAKER'S White Chocolate, melted
10 OREO Cookies, crumbled, divided
1 pkg. (8 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Make It:

ADD peanut butter to white chocolate; stir until well blended. Stir 1/2 the cookies into each bowl of chocolate.
DROP spoonfuls of the chocolate mixtures onto waxed paper-covered baking sheet, alternating colors of chocolates. Swirl with knife.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces.

Enjoy!
FLO Ministry Team

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

The Best of Gifts by Cindy Hess Kasper

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" - II Corinthians 9:15

Having trouble selecting that perfect gift for someone? A friend shared with me a few suggestions:

  • The gift of affection. Being generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, and pats on the back.
  • The gift of laughter. Sharing funny stories and jokes. Your gift will say, "I love to laugh with you."
  • The gift of a written note. Expressing in a brief, handwritten note your appreciation or affection.
  • The gift of a compliment. Sincerely saying, "You look great today" or "You are Special" can bring a smile.

But as we begin this special month of celebration, why not pass on the best gift you've ever received? Share the fact that "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:23). Or share this verse from John 1:12, "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name." Remind others that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

The best gift of all is Jesus Christ. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Cor. 9:15).

The greatest gift that has ever been given
Is Jesus Christ who was sent down from heaven.
This gift can be yours if you will believe;
Trust Him as Savior, and new life receive.

The best gift was found in a manger.

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Be Patient...God's not finished with me yet

Do the people closest to you truly see God transforming your life?

Softening your heart? Changing your speech? Changing your countenance?

If your answer is no, there is a little phrase you need to remember...."Please be patient, God isn't finished with me yet" Let God keep working on you. If those closest to you express doubts, ask them to be patient...and watch God work.

Some of you said no because you know good and well that you have been building your house on the sand rather than on the Solid Rock of God's word. You have been playing Church....going on Sunday, looking nice, singing songs...but nothing in your heart has changed. You know it, and those closest to you know it. It is my honest prayer that if you discover that you have become a "church lady", that you will rush into the arms of Jesus and let Him radically change your life.

Some of you said “no” because, despite your honest desire to seek God with all your heart, those closest to you are the ones making you question God’s ability to “change” you. Can we talk? I know how much it hurts to have someone you love throw your past in your face. It hurts so bad to have someone you love doubt God's hand in your life. It's not fair. But the people you love are just people. Be patient with them. Let God reveal himself to them through YOU. Pray for them. Pray that God will show them what He is doing in your life. Don't put a time limit on God. He took all the time He needed in getting your attention...allow Him to do the same with your loved ones.

Sadly, the ones closest to you are often the ones who cannot see through who you WERE in sin to see who you ARE in Christ. They know you too well. They know your history. Quite honestly, sometimes it is hard for them to believe that God redeems and restores lives in miraculous ways.

Maybe it took you a while to figure out that the road you were on was the wrong road. Maybe you made really bad choices and maybe those choices hurt other people...people that loved you, people that counted on you. Maybe you let them down. Unfortunately, the longer a person is on the wrong road, the more deeply the people in your life are hurt. And, if you have been on the wrong road for a long time, then those around you are afraid to get their hopes up…because they are afraid of being disappointed or hurt again. So, if you are absolutely sure that God has changed your heart, then be patient with the people in your life. Don't be angry if they don't seem to want to believe that you have changed. Be patient with them...just like Jesus was patient with you.

When Jesus enters your life and changes your heart, you need not be FOCUSED on proving your changed heart to the people in your life. You and God have a secret. The Creator of Heaven and Earth has drawn you to himself, pulled you up in his lap, wrapped His arms around you, and whispered into your hair, “You are my precious child and You are free to live in victory”.

Claim that promise.

Live all out for Him.

Pray for the ones who are afraid to believe that you have changed.

Allow Him to continue to change your heart and when you least expect it, they will see.

Be patient....God is not finished with them yet either.

Hugs!
K

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Offering

It's the most WONDERFUL time of year...my FAVORITE time of year! It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season....making sure your gift list is all checked off and each person accounted for, involvement in the church Christmas program, dates scheduled for family gatherings...you know, taking care of all those last minute details before the big day! The world would very much like for us all to become sidetracked with material things and buying and getting the best deals, and it would be very easy to do that.

But, as we all have heard most all of our lives, let's not forget the real meaning of Christmas. It's not about a gift, but about THE GIFT of God's precious baby boy that was delivered to a sin-cursed world to save us from our own selves.

What can WE bring HIM this Christmas season? What gift does He want most? Sure, He likes it when we celebrate Him during this season, but what about the one thing we each hold on to tighter than any piece of worldliness...ourselves. He just wants me...and you. That's it. He wants our worship, our praise, our gratitude, our willingness to give up self and put Him at His most deserving place...FIRST in our hearts and lives. That's easy enough, don't you think?



Over the skies of Bethlehem appeared a star
While angels sang to lowly shepherds
Three Wiseman seeking truth they traveled from afar
Hoping to find the child from heaven
Falling on their knees they bow before the humble Prince of Peace

We bring an offering of worship to our King
No one on earth deserves the praises that we sing
Jesus may you receive the honor that you're due
O Lord I bring an offering to you

The sun cannot compare to the glory of your love
There is no shadow in your presence
No mortal man would dare to stand before your throne
Before the Holy One of heaven
It's only by Your blood
It's only through Your mercy
Lord, I come

I bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus, may you receive the honor that you're due
O Lord, I bring an offering to you

We bring an offering to you
We are an offering to you
We are an offering to you, Jesus

We are an offering of worship to our King
No one on earth deserves the praises that we sing
Jesus, may you receive the honor that you're due
O Lord, we bring an offering to you

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When, God? When?

We all want good things to happen in our lives, but too often we want it now...not later. When it doesn't happen that way, we are tempted to ask, "When, God, when?" Most of us need to grow in the area of trusting God instead of focusing on the “when” question. If you're missing joy and peace, you're not trusting God. If your mind feels worn out all the time, you're not trusting God.

The tendency to want to know about everything that's going on can be detrimental to your Christian walk. Sometimes knowing everything can be uncomfortable and can even hurt you. I spent a large part of my life being impatient, frustrated and disappointed because there were things I didn't know. God had to teach me to leave things alone and quit feeling that I needed to know everything. I finally learned to trust the One who knows all things and accept that some questions may never be answered. We prove that we trust God when we refuse to worry.

God wants us to live by discernment—revelation knowledge, not head knowledge. It's difficult to exercise discernment if you're always trying to figure out everything. But when you're willing to say, "God, I can't figure this out, so I'm going to trust You to give me revelation that will set me free," then you can be comfortable in spite of not knowing. Trusting God often requires not knowing how God is going to accomplish what needs to be done and not knowing when He will do it. We often say God is never late, but generally He isn't early either. Why? Because He uses times of waiting to stretch our faith in Him and to bring about change and growth in our lives.

~ Courtesy of Kristy Freels

Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team